A ruling relevant to free software was recently made by a judge
presiding over the highly publicized trial of Kyle Rittenhouse
in Kenosha, Wisconsin, US.

On the night of August 25 2020, Kyle Rittenhouse shot three men with
a rifle in Kenosha, Wisconsin during heated protests following a police
shooting of a black man.  Rittenhouse, a resident of Antioch, Illinois
was 17 at the time and by law, prohibited from owning a gun or porting
one across state borders.  Nobody had invited him to Kenosha.
He claims innocent on the charges brought to him.  The fatal shootings,
according to his lawyers, was an act of self-defense.

For further information on the incident and the trial, please read
this Wikipedia article:

  Kenosha unrest shooting - Wikipedia

We know that Rittenhouse shot his rifle at point blank during
confrontations with his victims.  The cause of these confrontations is
unclear.  Was there provocation?  If so, from which side?  The
prosecutor has supplied video footage in their attempt to clarify.
However the videos, taken at night, poorly focused are hard to
discern.  At one point the prosecutor tried to show the jury an
enlarged image as evidence, but was turned down on the grounds that
the process generates pixels which do not exist in the original and
among these additional pixels there may be some that comprise an
illusion that jurors may interpret as incriminating.

  Rittenhouse's lawyers argue that zooming in on a video could distort
  the image.

  Blow-up at Rittenhouse trial over enlarging photos and video


I work on image processing software.  I may, one day, be summoned to
court to testify on the technology in use here.  Software that
enlarges images add pixels, but generally this is done by
interpolation.  A new pixel between an existing red pixel and a yellow
pixel is colored orange.  By this method, high-contrast details do not
emerge from the void.  But if the lawyers on the opposing side decide
to argue that advanced AI is capable of more sophisticated things, I
would not be able to offer much of a counterargument.  Without access
to the source code, no third-party observer can say for certain.

This is an example of what proprietary software does to your data.
Here we have a lawyer successfully arguing that potential distortions
caused by undisclosed technical features makes a video unacceptable as

We should encourage manufacturers of popular portable devices to
consider additional functions which would ensure that audio and video
recordings will stand up in court.  The algorithms should be kept
simple and, more importantly, be fully disclosed.

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